Author(s): Rob Johnson
Central Asia is likely to become a new arena of international interest in the twenty-first century, not least because of its volatile cocktail of abundant oil and gas, Islamic Jehadist groups, dictatorial regimes, and the strategic/energy rivalry of the United States, Russia, China, and Iran. Some believe that it could become the 'new Middle East', in the sense of being a battleground for access to precious resources, religious fundamentalism, and democratic politics. Narcotics, ethnic tensions, and impoverished states with weapons of mass destruction further add to the region's instability. "Oil, Islam and Conflict: Central Asia Since 1945" is a timely regional perspective that gathers together and analyses a range of issues including terrorism, counter-insurgency, and energy security. Rob Johnson covers the Civil Wars in Afghanistan and Tajikistan, the conflicts in Chechnya and the Caucasus, and terrorism across the region, particularly by the IMT (Islamic Movement of Turkestan). He also examines the policies of Central Asian governments, including their attitudes to democratic reform, human rights, energy, and economic development, and how these are related to civil violence.